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Horizon Discovery's Synthetic Plasma cfDNA Reference Standard

Horizon Discovery Group has launched a new tool called the HDx cell-free DNA Reference Standard in Synthetic Plasma. According to the company, the new reference set addresses challenges in extracting DNA for liquid biopsy testing, helps to ensure that an assay is not over or under loaded, and allows users to better control variation in their tests. The set contains eight cancer-relevant mutations including BRAF, EGFR, KRAS, NRAS, and PIK3CA at 5 percent, 1 percent, and 0.1 percent allelic frequencies. Because the reference is engineered in plasma, mimicking actual human material, users can gain better understanding of assay performance from extraction and quantification through to analysis and informatics, Horizon added.

The Scan

Booster for At-Risk

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for people 65 and older or at increased risk.

Preprints OK to Mention Again

Nature News reports the Australian Research Council has changed its new policy and now allows preprints to be cited in grant applications.

Hundreds of Millions More to Share

The US plans to purchase and donate 500 million additional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses, according to the Washington Post.

Nature Papers Examine Molecular Program Differences Influencing Neural Cells, Population History of Polynesia

In Nature this week: changes in molecular program during embryonic development leads to different neural cell types, and more.